It’s easy to underestimate the amount of power a host or hostess has when seating customers at a restaurant. They know which servers are good and which are surly. They know which seats are drafty or prone to being ignored. They set the tone for your first impression of the service. In the world of communications, your interactive voice response (IVR) is the hostess of your solution.
An IVR that’s well-designed acts as the perfect introduction to your services – greeting callers, finding out what they need, and then helping them reach their destination. A poorly-designed IVR is a like a host or hostess with an attitude: they’re piling guests into a single server’s section, walking so fast that guests can barely follow them, and then plunking down the menus to rush off before the guest sputters out, “Actually, we asked for a booth!”
The right IVR can add value, productivity, and even improve the customer experience; but, unfortunately, early editions still remind customers of yelling, “Billing!” over and over again into a non-responsive and hardly intuitive system. Today’s solutions are a world away from that nightmare, and they offer a wealth of benefits for every size of enterprise.
Customize Your Greeting: Whether you’re running a special promotion or have a unique way that you always greet your loyal customers, an IVR allows you to record a greeting that’s consistent with your brand messaging. Some companies even hire voice talent to get just the right sound, or they set up different greetings for specific product lines.
Determine What Your Caller Needs: You may be asking customers to punch a certain number to get to the right department, but more advanced IVR solutions will allow customers to press the number or say what they need.
Set Up Smarter Routing: An IVR is often equipped with automatic call distribution to allow it to make smarter assessments about where a call should be directed. For instance, an IVR may be able to distinguish callers interested in talking to a representative for a national account versus a representative from the direct sales team.
Equipping Self-Service: For routine invoice inquiries or order status, some customers may prefer just to quickly receive information and end the call. An IVR helps your customers get quick information without being routed to a live agent, saving your customers time and improving productivity for your agents.
Decoding Human Language: A good IVR will be equipped with artificial intelligence in the form of natural language processing (NLP) to understand customers’ questions and comments, then respond with the right answer in a seemingly human approach.
Is IVR Only for Big Enterprises? While the above benefits might be applicable to businesses of any size, owners of small- and mid-size businesses may wonder if IVR technology is within reach.
From reducing labor costs to making customer-service representative positions more attractive, IVR offers benefits to all sizes of businesses. In fact, some advantages are uniquely suited to smaller enterprises, such as the ability to utilize IVR to support customer service when an employee is out of the office or to aid callers when call volume is increased during a promotion or due to seasonal elements.To learn more about the benefits that IVR offers to your enterprise, contact us at AMD Communications. From assessing your communications technology needs to choosing and implementing the right solution, we can guide you through the entire process.